Continuing Education


Iowa law requires members of every licensed or regulated health profession to obtain continuing education in order to renew the authorization to practice their profession.  (Iowa Code Chapter 272C)  Consequently, the Iowa Dental Board requires all licensed dentists, dental hygienists, and registered dental assistants to obtain continuing education. While the Board approves sponsors and courses, the Board, typically, does not offer any courses. You will need to contact the course sponsor for information on course registration, meeting times and locations, obtaining proof of attendance, and the number of hours awarded.

To find continuing education courses, you can ask to be placed on the mailing list for your professional association or ask to be on the mailing list for your local community college or dental college. A list of sponsors is also available here.

You can find all applications and forms associated with continuing education in the Applications and Forms section of the website under the section titled "Continuing Education Applications and Forms."


Continuing Education Hours Required

Dentists and Dental Hygienists: 30 Hours required every 2 years

To renew on active status, dental hygienists will be required to report completion of courses in infection control and jurisprudence for the first time on the 2019 license renewal.  Dentists will be required to report completion of courses in infection control and jurisprudence for the first time on the 2020 license renewal.

Required as part of 30 hours:

CPR Required for renewal – can claim up to 3 hours for completing course. To be eligible, CPR certification courses must be from nationally-recognized sponsor, and include a "hands-on", clinical component. A CPR course may include an online component provided there is an in-person portion prior to the certification being issued.
Infection Control Must complete a minimum of 1 hour every 2 years in the area of infection control standards as required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Iowa Jurisprudence Must complete a minimum of 1 hour every 2 years in the area of Iowa jurisprudence.
Abuse Identification and Reporting Training

Effective July 1, 2019, licensees and registrants who practice in Iowa, must complete training through the Department of Human Services and renew the training every 3 years thereafter.  Prior to July 1, 2019, the training was valid for 5 years.  Credit can be claimed for completing courses.

Training is available here.

Note: The DHS core training is awarded 2.0 hours for each section, for 4 hours total.  Recertification training is awarded 1.0 hour for each section, for 2 hours total.

Opioids Dentists who prescribe opioids to patients must complete a minimum of 1 hour of continuing education in the area of opioids.
Sedation

6 hours for persons with a deep sedation/general anesthesia or moderate (conscious) sedation permit.  Please note: This CE requirement does not apply to local anesthesia permit holders.

Dental Assistants: 20 Hours required every 2 years

To renew on active status, dental assistants will be required to report completion of courses in infection control and jurisprudence for the first time on the 2019 registration renewal.  

Required as part of 20 hours:

CPR Required for renewal – can claim up to 3 hours for completing course. To be eligible, CPR certification courses must be from nationally-recognized sponsor, and include a "hands-on", clinical component. A CPR course may include an online component provided there is an in-person portion prior to the certification being issued.
Infection Control Must complete a minimum of 1 hour every 2 years in the area of infection control standards as required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Iowa Jurisprudence Must complete a minimum of 1 hour every 2 years in the area of Iowa jurisprudence.
Abuse Identification and Reporting Training

Effective July 1, 2019, licensees and registrants who practice in Iowa, must complete training through the Department of Human Services and renew the training every 3 years thereafter.  Prior to July 1, 2019, the training was valid for 5 years.  Credit can be claimed for completing courses.

Training is available here.

Note: The DHS core training is awarded 2.0 hours for each section, for 4 hours total.  Recertification training is awarded 1.0 hour for each section, for 2 hours total.

Dental Radiology 2 hours for dental assistants with an added qualification in dental radiography.

Self-Study Activities

All licensees and registrants are allowed to complete a maximum of 12 hours of self-study activities every renewal period.  Self-study activities are defined as follows:

“Self-study activities” means the study of something by oneself, without direct supervision or attendance in a class. “Self-study activities” may include Internet-based coursework, television viewing, video programs, correspondence work or research, or computer programs that are interactive and require branching, navigation, participation and decision making on the part of the viewer. Internet-based webinars which include the involvement of an instructor and participants in real time and which allow for communication with the instructor through messaging, telephone or other means shall not be construed to be self-study activities.

Acceptable Subject Matter

650—25.5(153) Acceptable programs and activities.
      25.5(1) A continuing education activity shall be acceptable and not require board approval if it meets the following criteria:
      a.   It constitutes an organized program of learning (including a workshop or symposium) which contributes directly to the professional competency of the licensee or registrant and is of value to dentistry and applicable to oral health care; and
      b.   It pertains to common subjects or other subject matters which relate to the practice of dentistry, dental hygiene, or dental assisting which are intended to refresh and review, or update knowledge of new or existing concepts and techniques, and enhance the dental health of the public; and
      c.   It is conducted by individuals who have sufficient special education, training and experience to be considered experts concerning the subject matter of the program. The program must include a written outline or manual that substantively pertains to the subject matter of the program.
      25.5(2) Types of activities acceptable for continuing dental education credit may include:
      a.   A dental science course that includes topics which address the clinical practice of dentistry, dental hygiene, dental assisting and dental public health.
      b.   Courses in record keeping, medical conditions which may have an effect on oral health, ergonomics related to clinical practice, HIPAA, risk management, sexual boundaries, communication with patients, OSHA regulations, and the discontinuation of practice related to the transition of patient care and patient records.
      c.   Sessions attended at a multiday convention-type meeting. A multiday convention-type meeting is held at a national, state, or regional level and involves a variety of concurrent educational experiences directly related to the practice of dentistry.
      d.   Postgraduate study relating to health sciences.
      e.   Successful completion of a recognized specialty examination or the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examination.
      f.    Self-study activities.
      g.   Original presentation of continuing dental education courses.
      h.   Publication of scientific articles in professional journals related to dentistry, dental hygiene, or dental assisting.
      25.5(3) Credit may be given for other continuing education activities upon request and approval by the board.

650—25.6(153) Unacceptable programs and activities.
      25.6(1) Unacceptable subject matter and activity types include, but are not limited to, personal development, business aspects of practice, business strategy, financial management, marketing, sales, practice growth, personnel management, insurance, collective bargaining, and events where volunteer services are provided. While desirable, those subjects and activities are not applicable to dental skills, knowledge, and competence. Therefore, such courses will receive no credit toward renewal. The board may deny credit for any course.

Extensions and Exemptions

Illness and disability
In cases of illness or disability, licensees and registrants can apply for an extension or exemption of the continuing education requirements. Written application must be made on forms approved by the Board. A licensed physician must also sign the form. The Board may require the applicant to make up a certain portion or all of the minimum education requirements.

Other extensions and exemptions
The Board also issues individual extensions or exemptions in the following cases:

  • The current biennium renewal period, or portion thereof, following original issuance of a license or registration (first renewal in Iowa);
  • Periods that a person serves honorably on active duty in military services;
  • Periods that a person practices the person’s profession in another state having a continuing education requirement, and the licensee or registrant meets all of the requirements of that state;
  • Periods that a person is a government employee working in the person’s licensed or registered specialty and assigned to duty outside the United States; and
  • Other periods of active practice and absence from the state approved by the Board

Inactive Status
Another way to renew your license and registration without obtaining continuing education is to place your license or registration on inactive status. Under inactive status, no continuing education is required, however, you must pay the renewal fee and submit an application for renewal. While on inactive status, you cannot practice dentistry, dental hygiene, or dental assisting in Iowa until your license or registration is reactivated. Reactivation requires submitting an application and fee. You must also submit proof of having completed continuing education as required by rule. Contact the Board office for additional information about inactive status.

Renewal

Persons who qualify for the above exemptions or extensions can mark the appropriate spot on the form for renewal. In addition, if you qualify for a continuing education exemption or extension, you must still submit a timely application for renewal and pay the required renewal fee.  You must still obtain training in identification and reporting of dependent adult and/or child abuse and submit proof of current certification in CPR (unless issued an exemption from CPR in cases of disability).


Reporting Continuing Education

Continuing education is reported at the time of license or registration renewal. Approximately 60 days before your license or registration expires, you will be sent an email to your email address of record, notifying you about renewal. As part of the renewal, you must document the number of continuing education hours earned, and the dates that you took mandatory abuse training, unless you qualify for an exemption or extension. In addition, you must provide the expiration date of your current CPR certification.  A copy of your CPR card must be provided to the Board upon request.

It is important that you maintain a file of all continuing education courses attended. Board rules require that you maintain proof of attendance for four (4) years after the year of attendance. The Board routinely audits renewals and can ask you to show proof of all hours claimed for renewal. If your renewal is selected for audit, you must provide copies of certificates showing the continuing education activity attended and the number of hours awarded. Failure to document enough continuing education hours could result in possible disciplinary action of your license or registration. If you lose copies of your proof of attendance forms, you should contact the course sponsor(s) for duplicate copies.

Printed from the website on October 20, 2021 at 2:41am.